Friday, May 22, 2015

Busy times for Egypt's military courts

Egypt's military courts have been keeping busy with prosecutions of civilians, including juveniles. Daily News of Egypt has this round-up:
An Alexandria military court issued sentences against 147 defendants, including at least 12 children aged between 15 and 18, according to the National Community for Human Rights and Law. 
The Egyptian Foundation for the Advancement of Childhood Conditions (EFACC) stated that despite the due release of six children in this case, numbered 152/2014, the foundation maintains that all military trials of children must end. 
The sentences varied, with approximately 50 people receiving life sentences, while 30 received 15-year prison sentences, seven received 10-year sentences, two received seven-year sentences, and 18 received five-year sentences. A total of 37 were found innocent. 
Meanwhile, three children were declared as falling outside the jurisdiction of the court, whereas six more children received 15-year sentences, while three other children were proven innocent. According to EFACC, the charges include “offences against public property and intimidating civilians through force and violence”. 
Offences such as these now fall under the jurisdiction of military courts as of a recent decree expanding the scope of military trials to include any violations against “vital state properties”.
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Likewise, military trials for civilians have risen. On 17 May, Egypt executed six men that had been sentenced to death in a military court, while civilians courts are still looking into the legality of their executions. Evidence purportedly points to some of them having been arrested prior to the date of the crimes for which they were convicted.

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